Over the last year, social media and social networking have exploded. Hardly surprising then that 'unfriend' has been named as Oxford's Word of the Year. Now is probably a good time to remind you that just because it's hardly surprising, that doesn't mean it's not really, really depressing.
"Every year the New Oxford American Dictionary prepares for the holidays by making its biggest announcement of the year," reads a post on the Oxford University Press. "This announcement is usually applauded by some and derided by others and the ongoing conversation it sparks is always a lot of fun, so I encourage you to let us know what you think in the comments. Without further ado, the 2009 Word of the Year is: unfriend."
And the official definition for this new newfangled term?
According to Christine Lindberg, Senior Lexicographer for Oxford’s US dictionary program, "Unfriend has real lex-appeal.”
Just in case you were wondering, unfriend was up against some words that actually made sense, like netbook and ecotown.
Check out the full list of words below:
Hashtag – a # [hash] sign added to a word or phrase that enables Twitter users to search for tweets (postings on the Twitter site) that contain similarly tagged items and view thematic sets
Intexticated – distracted because texting on a cellphone while driving a vehicle
Netbook – a small, very portable laptop computer with limited memory
Paywall – a way of blocking access to a part of a website which is only available to paying subscribers
Sexting – the sending of sexually explicit texts and pictures by cellphone
Freemium – a business model in which some basic services are provided for free, with the aim of enticing users to pay for additional, premium features or content
Funemployed – taking advantage of one’s newly unemployed status to have fun or pursue other interests
Zombie bank – a financial institution whose liabilities are greater than its assets, but which continues to operate because of government support
Ardi – (Ardipithecus ramidus) oldest known hominid, discovered in Ethiopia during the 1990s and announced to the public in 2009
Birther – a conspiracy theorist who challenges President Obama’s birth certificate
Choice mom – a person who chooses to be a single mother
Death panel – a theoretical body that determines which patients deserve to live, when care is rationed
Teabagger – a person, who protests President Obama’s tax policies and stimulus package, often through local demonstrations known as “Tea Party” protests (in allusion to the Boston Tea Party of 1773)
Brown state – a US state that does not have strict environmental regulations
Green state – a US state that has strict environmental regulations
Ecotown – a town built and run on eco-friendly principles
Deleb – a dead celebrity
Tramp stamp – a tattoo on the lower back, usually on a woman
Got a word that you think Oxford missed? Let us know in the comments below!